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Introducing Neeraj Lala, CEO

Message from Neeraj-940x450

Neeraj Lala is the fifth local Toyota CEO since its establishment 50 years ago. Toyota New Zealand is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan and prefers to promote from within and maintain stability through long tenure Chief Executives.

Neeraj brings passion and excitement to the role of steering Toyota New Zealand, as the global company transitions from being a traditional automaker known for cars, trucks and vans to a mobility company focused on exciting future technologies.

Message from the CEO 

In the last issue we said farewell to previous CEO Alistair Davis and I took the helm of Toyota New Zealand at the beginning of July amidst the uncertainty of a global pandemic. A scenario like we’d never witnessed before.

Without a doubt 2020 has presented its challenges and COVID-19 has reset our normal.

Crisis gives an opportunity for everyone to be accepting of change.

Despite the trauma of 2020, I am immensely proud of our teams’ response. Losing 30% of our new car business and 35% of our used car business is not something you can recover from easily. But despite the chaos, our team have delivered a strong result. We have also managed to launch some of the best, most exciting new cars.

It is a sad reality that some smaller businesses will struggle to survive – but amidst this time of uncertainty we as a company reached out to assist 100 small businesses get on their feet with the Small Business Driver initiative and providing them with the use of a Highlander for a year.

Another positive outcome over this time is that we’ve become more agile in our business approach and our reliance on technology has been accelerated. We still seek to deliver exceptional customer service and we’re constantly reassessing what we do to ensure expectations are being met. Our goal is to integrate digital tools and initiatives to strengthen the customer experience in our Stores.  I believe local people like to purchase from their local businesses, we just need to make that process easier and more enjoyable.

Rapid urbanisation and all the mega trends are accelerating post C-19 that we our preparing ourselves for. 

The introduction of 5G is going to transform the way we connect anything to everything.  Big data is going to transform customer experiences like we have never seen.  New technology will transform mobility.

Since taking on the role as CEO, I’ve reset our vision to win the hearts of New Zealanders, over the next decade by delivering an exceptional customer experience and mobility for all.

This is very much in line with our parent company Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Japan’s move from a traditional car manufacturing company to a mobility company focussed on future technologies.

Our vision has been gaining momentum and its spirit is starting to translate into everything we do.

Winning the hearts of New Zealanders over the next decade by delivering exceptional customer service and mobility for all will not be easy, but it is achievable by our incredibly resilient Toyota team.

It is not just resilience in our sales channel that is supporting our recovery. The depth of our exciting product line-up is proving invaluable.

The President of Toyota Motor Corporation Akio Toyoda recently addressed Toyota globally

talking a lot about Happiness and fun when it comes to driving motor vehicles and he often uses the term ‘producing ever better cars’.

Over the past five years under Akio’s leadership, our range has benefited from his direction to build ever better cars. Hilux, Hiace, RAV4, CHR, Yaris and Corolla are all major contributors.

I share a similar passion and enthusiasm about cars as our Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda. I find the edgy stuff exciting and look forward to this next chapter in leading Toyota New Zealand through these changing times.

There are many lessons that can be learned in 2020, the least of all let us not be complacent with this recovery.

Enjoy the content of this issue of Believe.

Meet Neeraj here